About Child Care P-EBT Benefits
Child Care Pandemic-EBT provides grocery benefits for eligible infants and children under the age of six.
Child Care P-EBT works with SNAP Benefits
To be eligible for Child Care P-EBT, your child must have been under the age of six and enrolled in SNAP, also known as LINK, sometime between October 2020 and June 2021. Even if you were enrolled in SNAP for only some of this time, your family may be eligible as long as your child meets the eligibility requirements below.
Older children may be eligible for School P-EBT, even if they weren’t enrolled in SNAP. Learn more.
Get answers to your questions about Child Care P-EBT food benefits for Illinois residents who were enrolled in SNAP from October 2020 to June 2021 below. (Leer en español.)
Frequently Asked Questions
Child Care Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) gives food benefits to eligible children in a SNAP household.
To be eligible, a child must meet all four points below:
- Been under the age of 6 as of 10/01/2020 (born on or after October 2, 2014).
- Been in a household that received SNAP benefits between October 2020 and June 2021. Only the benefit months where the child was in an approved SNAP household will be counted for Child Care P-EBT eligibility.
- Lived in a part of Illinois where at least one school qualified for P-EBT benefits. For October through March 2021, the whole state of Illinois fit this requirement. Eligible areas for April to June 2021 will be published in August 2021.
- Not have received School P-EBT for the same month.
No, you don’t need to apply for Child Care P-EBT benefits. Eligible families who were enrolled in SNAP from October 2020 to June 2021 will automatically receive Child Care P-EBT on their existing LINK card.
If your child is currently enrolled in SNAP, no additional action is needed. Child Care P-EBT benefits will be loaded onto your LINK card automatically.
If your child meets the eligibility criteria but is no longer receiving SNAP, benefits will be put on the household’s former LINK card. If you need to order a new card, you can call 1-800-678-5465 or go to ebt-link.illinois.gov to manage your LINK account to order a new card.
Benefits are sent based on when you normally have SNAP benefits disbursed.
In July, benefits from October 2020 to March 2021 will be disbursed together in one payment to your LINK card. Benefits for April, May, and June 2021 will be sent at a later date.
For July, the availability dates are:
|Regular SNAP availability date||Child Care P-EBT availability date|
Case numbers starting 1 – 4
Case numbers starting 5 – 9
Eligible kids will receive an average of $109.12 for each eligible month for the months of October 2020 to March 2021. This will vary depending on your child’s birthday and they will only receive benefits for the time that they were included in the SNAP household case.
Benefit amount for the months of April, May, and June of 2021 may be different and will be re-assessed.
Child Care P-EBT benefits are on your existing LINK card and can be used like a debit card to purchase food at SNAP/LINK authorized grocery stores.
No, you do not need to use the benefits the same month they were issued. However, benefits are removed after 274 days (9 months) of inactivity. A purchase of any amount ensures that your benefits will not be removed.
No, your child did not need to be in a daycare setting at any time to be eligible for Child Care P-EBT. Regardless of who was taking care of them during the day, your child would be eligible if they meet the Child Care P-EBT eligibility requirements.
Yes, for any month between October 2020 and June 2021 that a child meets the above eligibility requirements, Child Care P-EBT benefits will be issued. You do not need to have been eligible for SNAP for the entire period. However, you will only receive benefits for the months your child was approved to receive SNAP.
Your child is still eligible for Child Care P-EBT benefits from October 2020 to June 2021. If you are no longer enrolled in SNAP, you can still use your existing LINK card if you have it. If you still have your PIN, you can call the LINK hotline to order a new card at 1-800-678-5465.
If your child’s sixth birthday was October 1, 2020, then they are not eligible for Child Care P-EBT benefits. If they turned 6 after October 1, 2020, then they are possibly eligible for the months before their sixth birthday as long as they meet the other requirements.
No. Children who receive School P-EBT benefits cannot also get Child Care P-EBT benefits, even if they are an eligible age.
Yes, you can receive both programs as long as you meet the eligibility requirements of both.
Yes, your participation in government programs does not affect your ability to get food from a food pantry.
No, Child Care P-EBT will not count in a public charge test. All children are eligible regardless of immigration status. Read Protecting Immigrant Families: Public Charge – Know Your Rights (pdf) to learn what public benefits affect the public charge test.
A separate P-EBT benefit program is available for school-age children. Learn more and find out if your family is eligible.